Carers Awareness Week 2019 - Themed Article

AbigailAbigail Carer/musicianPosts: 613 Extreme Poster

Its 2019! Its Carers awareness Week! It’s the week to celebrate all thing Carers! It’s time we connected with those amazing carers! The mix is home to very few carers, but that doesn’t stop us from being amazing at what we do and needing to break down the barriers of isolation and needing to stay connected with people of a similar age. Carers are more likely to slip through the system if there isn’t an open place for them to talk about the roles and get the support, its why there has been a lot of support being put up on the boards recently to help carers get a voice.


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So, lets dive into this year’s topic which is Getting Carers Connected!
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Young Carers System/groups

The young carers groups are a wonderful thing and a lifeline to young carers growing up. It keeps carers connected and reduces the isolating carers feel.  Here are 2 statements from 2 carers who have been in the system, each have had different experiences. Their experience doesn’t mean you will experience the same.

 

**Please note this are our experience don’t let this put you off going to a session**

 

“I’ve been in the local young carers system for 4 years this summer, although I’ve been a carer for 6 years. I was offered so many new opportunities upon joining the service. After just my second year of being with them I was given the chance to go to the young carers festival, without this I would never have been given the experience of camping in a field. More recently I was picked out of a small group to go to London as part of the young adult carers Easter trip. We’re given the chance to meet up with other Young Carers of similar ages. We are also offered Monthly clubs which allow us to spend a few hours away from home getting a bit of our childhood back that we missed.” – Aimee

 

“I was in the system for a year and in that time,  I had some positives I went to carers festival, had trips out and meet other who was carers but all while I was in the system, I was a volunteer without signing up for the role. I was settling people into the group, making sure they were okay, helping them with homework, talking to them about how to get support outside of the group. This wasn’t helpful for me it; I was meant to be at the group to get time out from caring for others instead I was looking after other people. I left the group not on good terms with the some of the leaders. I was alone and isolated again.” – Abi

 

The point we hold is each person experience is different. Each group are different due to funding, some groups are supported by regular funding such as County council and some are run solely by volunteers and rely heavily on public and private donations, also how far each group has to cover has a big impact. In some areas there are multiple groups running whereas in others there is 1 group which has to support all the young carers in the area.

 


Online vs in person

As a writer I want to share all ways carers can stay connected as 8 out of 10 carers describe themselves as lonely or socially isolated. I want to break down the stigma to being connected. Most believe being connected you have to see people face-to-face and get out of the house. Studies have proved that carers who stay connected online are more likely to continue fighting and feel more supported than the once a week or once a term some carers get from local services. Before carers trust dropped their online services each service Babble, Matter and Carers Group (supported adult carers) team each help many people and opened up the line of contact for many carers who can’t make it out to coffee mornings. As the digital world improves and robots learn to the ironing but one job that can’t be done by robots is supporting our family as the demands on the NHS will be growing so the support for young carers will increase.

 

Online

+ You take away the physical eye contact and awkwardness.

+ Support on a regular basis without having to make an appointment.

+ Meet other who are similar age.

 

- You have to share the time with others.

- Might not be heard fully.

- Feel like people don’t truly understanding how hard it is for you.       

 

In person

+ More information can be passed on.

+ You can feel and understood.

+ Your aware that you’re not the only one who is a carer.

 

- Due to the high demands on staff carers can go months without seeing someone.

- People can slip through the system without being noticed.

- There is more planning required in a face to face which might stop carer from seeking the support.

 

Activities that can be done at young carers

There are a wide variety and range of activities that can be done at young carers and I’m going to run you through some of the main ones you may come across in your service.

***these are trips that my local young carers service run that I am using as example, your service may or may not run these trips***


  • Clubs/Groups where you might:
  • Cooking
  • Play outdoor games in the summer
  • Listening to music
  • Socialize with other young carers Around your age
  • A chance to speak to a YC member of staff if something is troubling you

 

Day Trips during a weekend or School Holiday such as:

  • Going to the seaside
  • To the cinema
  • To a local theme park
  • Visit a local University (this is more aimed at the top age range for a young carer around 13/14 up to 18)
  • Bowling, swimming and trampolining parks.
  • Local Farm park (Aimed at that primary school carers)

Finally, a lot of young carers services across the UK sometimes take a small group of young carers from about age 12 up to 17 to the young carers festival which runs in Southampton normally in the last weekend of June.

 

Young adult/adult carers groups

Going into unknown territory here young adult carers activities. Most young adult carers group we are aware of join the adult service. These 2 groups often run:

 

  • Coffee mornings
  • Hospitality therapy
  • Day trips such as:
 - Theatre
 - boat trips
 - Trips to other towns
  • Masquerade balls
  • Markets
  • Quiz days


 These are a mix of statistic on likeliness to feeling lonely and becoming lonely


 Resources
  • Carers who had felt lonely or isolated were almost twice as likely to report worsened mental (77%) and physical (67%) health.
  • Regular breaks from caring roles (57%)
  • More understanding from society (52%)
  • Being able to take part in leisure activities (40%)
  • Being able to take part in leisure activities (40%)
  • Support paying for social activities (31%)
  • More understanding at work (30%)
  • Being in touch with other carers (29%)
  • Feeling more able to talk to friends and family (23%)
  • Being able to take part in education or training (21%
  • certain caring circumstances are linked to lonelier care experiences, such as younger carers under 24 years old (89%)
  • carers of disabled children (93%),
  • people who care for 50 hours or more per week (86%)
  • ‘sandwich carers’ who look after loved ones alongside parenting responsibilities (86%).

This year’s topic is so important, as modern technology gets better we need to keep connecting to those around us in new ways if that is through a group chat online like what the mix offers with group chats or even chat between a friends over Facebook, simple things like that can reduce loneliness within carers.


I want to leave you with 1 thought, how can you help someone feel less lonely today?


Resource from the mix and whats on the board:


Some people think i am unhappy. I'm not. I just approach silence in the world that never stops talking
The MixMillie2787Aife

Comments

  • htwohig2412htwohig2412 Posts: 103 The Mix convert
    Thanks so much for sharing your experiences @Abigail, such a great insight into the importance and relevance of this years theme!

    I want to leave you with 1 thought, how can you help someone feel less lonely today?

    This is such an important call to action - you've given me plenty of food for thought!
    "I know what I have to do now, I’ve got to keep breathing because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?"
    Cast Away


    Abigail
  • Millie2787Millie2787 Posts: 1,643 Postholic
    edited June 10
    Me and Abi have worked on a few articles together now and im so always more than happy to work with Abi on things . But I must say out of the few articles we’ve done together this is by far the best one I think we’ve produced and I think @Abigail would agree with this. Raising awareness of Carers of any age young or old is such an important thing for me and Abi and by us doing little things like this it really can help As they do say A little goes along way   ❤️
    You have a purpose.
    Abigail
  • AbigailAbigail Carer/musician Posts: 613 Extreme Poster
    hey @htwohig2412 I read a very scary statistic this morning in an article from xenzone about carers, by 2030 there will be about 10 million carers in the uk very scary statistic. Raising awareness for carers is just normal for me. I'm really glad its given you something to think about, if you have any question shout or message me and I will try and help. 

    @Millie2787 very very long article took 6 weeks to write didn't it. Very important topic for this week.

    Hope your all enjoying the purple confetti. Me and Aimee had nothing to do with it, it was all @Aife doing :joy: :joy:  
    Some people think i am unhappy. I'm not. I just approach silence in the world that never stops talking
    htwohig2412
  • htwohig2412htwohig2412 Posts: 103 The Mix convert
    Raising awareness of Carers of any age young or old is such an important thing for me and Abi and by us doing little things like this it really can help As they do say A little goes along way   ❤️
    This is so very true @Millie2787. It only takes one person with a passion to speak out to make a difference! Here we've got 2 already, so we're onto a winner!
    Abigail said:
    hey @htwohig2412 I read a very scary statistic this morning in an article from xenzone about carers, by 2030 there will be about 10 million carers in the uk very scary statistic. 
    That's a huge number, @Abigail. It just proves it's more important than ever to raise awareness and shout about how we can support carers better as a society. I'm going to make an effort to learn some more about young carers this week and I'll be sure to shout up if I've got any questions. I think the articles you've pointed to will be a good place to start. Thanks for the offer!
    "I know what I have to do now, I’ve got to keep breathing because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?"
    Cast Away


    Abigail
  • AbigailAbigail Carer/musician Posts: 613 Extreme Poster
    That's a huge number, @Abigail.

    The figure as it stands is 8 million carers so that's the little ones aged 8 right up to the 65+ carers. Raising awareness is a bit like football, 1 person brings the ball and others get involved and before you know it we are all playing football. 

    Heres a mix of articles and sites ... just a general throwing them out there

    https://www.carersweek.org/
    https://www.carersuk.org/
    https://carers.org/ 
    https://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/news-and-blogs/our-blog/facts-you-might-not-know-about-young-carers
    https://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/what-we-do/helping-children/young-carers

    Some people think i am unhappy. I'm not. I just approach silence in the world that never stops talking
    htwohig2412
  • Millie2787Millie2787 Posts: 1,643 Postholic
    edited June 11
    very very long article took 6 weeks to write didn't it. Very important topic for this week.
    As @Abigail Said , she is write this was very much a 6 week maybe even more if we couldn’t the early days ideas is writing and editing and throwing around ideas. Often late at night or randomly sat in college one of us will be Like “ Ooh what about this” 

     @htwohig2412  I think  the main point is that anyone , having the right knowledge which a quick google search can equip you with can raise awareness of carers if any age Whether it is sharing your local groups page on your social media , doing some fundraising, creating Posts or blogs or even if you think your friend might be one simply having a conversation with them !


    You have a purpose.
    htwohig2412
  • StephanieStephanie Posts: 165 Moderator
    edited June 13
    Thanks for sharing this :heart:
                                   "Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if only one remembers to turn on the light" 

    - Albus Dumbledore 
    Abigail
  • AidanAidan Clever idiot Posts: 1,118 Fanatical Poster
    Thank you for sharing this! It's very clear lots of effort went into compiling this together, and it's very insightful into what it's like being a young carer.

    I hope this finds it way to many young carers in future and can help them out!
    I've fought mudcrabs more fearsome than you
  • AbigailAbigail Carer/musician Posts: 613 Extreme Poster
    As carers week draws to a close the awareness shouldnt stop. Through this week I've taken pictures everyday of normal things we do. Even though it's not been normal for me what is normal anyway?



    The article in its self has hit many people across 2 platforms but why should it stop at 2? Share it with people you know let them know what people go through. Carers week isnt just a week that comes every year and we should celebrate then forget about. Carers work 24/7 365 a year to help the once we love. Even though this week might have been hard for you doesnt mean tomorrow the awareness can stop tomorrow. 

    I work closely with staff to create good content on sites so if you think there is an article missing yell we can find the time to write and research it put it out to you. This article took 7 weeks to type but I also typed 3 essays in that time as well articles such as this take time but a bit of research and a response to a comment we can do in a week to a month depending on the topic. I really hope we keep spreading the word. 

    Speak soon
    Abi

    P.s check out @Italia thread all we want from you is something as simple as how do we explain the mix in a friendly way. https://community.themix.org.uk/discussion/3594573/shouting-about-the-mix-young-carers#latest
    Some people think i am unhappy. I'm not. I just approach silence in the world that never stops talking
    Italia
  • htwohig2412htwohig2412 Posts: 103 The Mix convert
    Abigail said:
    As carers week draws to a close the awareness shouldnt stop. 
    You've hit on such an important point here @Abigail - it's not the week itself that's important but it's the legacy that it creates. It's so important that we keep working to raise awareness and improve services for carers. Thank you for an insightful week!
    "I know what I have to do now, I’ve got to keep breathing because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?"
    Cast Away


    Abigail

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